THIS year's Clackmannanshire Council consultation on the upcoming budget has been attacked by Labour for obscuring "the carnage" from the public.

Official consultation on a four per cent council tax rise, proposed by officers, and hikes in general fees is being held currently county-wide, but specific management efficiencies are being discussed with those affected directly.

Councillor Dave Clark, leader of the Labour group, said: "With multi-million pounds of savings to be found again at Clackmannanshire Council this year, the SNP administration are trying to obscure from the public the carnage that the cuts coming out of Holyrood are causing."

Cllr Clark also suggested that it will be the most deprived who will be hurt by cuts and changes the most.

He said: "The biggest price is being paid by the poor and vulnerable in our community, but it is also impacting profoundly on the whole Clackmannanshire economy."

However, the SNP's council leader Ellen Forson hit back saying that she did not want all the proposals to be diluted as part of one big piece of engagement.

She said: "One of the things that has come out is that if you are talking about changes to education, you should be consulting directly with the parents and the pupils and the teachers who are going to be affected."

Cllr Forson added the Scottish Government has been protecting council budgets, but costs on demand-led services such as adult social care are skyrocketing.

She went on to say: "They are talking about Holyrood cuts, it's funny because in Wales, where it's a Labour administration in the devolved government, they very clearly lay the blame for cuts at Westminster, but I guess it's a tale of two different parties there."

In response to Cllr Clark's comments on deprived families bearing the brunt of the cuts, the council leader said her priorities have always been to focus resources where they are most needed.

She said: "I have no problem standing up and saying that I'm prioritising spending budgets on the people who need it most.

"I don't make any kind of apologies for that, I think it's the right thing to do."